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Poland raises retirement age to 67

21 april 2012, 12:38
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Worker union protest against the government's retirement plans. ©REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Worker union protest against the government's retirement plans. ©REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
The Polish government on Friday approved a reform plan raising the retirement age to 67 in coming decades, the prime minister said, but the change for men will come much quicker, AFP reports.

"These are difficult decisions and we are aware of the number of people in Poland who are worried about these changes," centrist Premier Donald Tusk said after a cabinet meeting.

The government said it would start gradually raising the retirement age from the current 60 years of age for women and 65 for men beginning next year. Men will retire at 67 as of 2020 and women as of 2040.

The reforms also apply to the military and the police, whose members will now have to serve 25 years instead of the current 15 to be entitled to retirement benefits.

The new measures will allow employees to receive a 50 percent share of their pensions if they choose early retirement at 62 for women and 65 for men.

However, the measure will only apply to women with 35 years of paid-up pension premiums and men who have contributed for 40 years.

Parliament must approve the new measures before they take effect.

The reforms come in response to negative population trends in Poland which are forecast to cause a dramatic shortage of workers around 2040.

Recent studies have predicted that more than half of Poland's population -- now 38.2 million -- will be over 50 in 2042, while only one in three Poles will be active in the labour market.

The reforms have sparked a major wave of protests on the part of unions and the opposition, on both the left and the right.

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